November Criminals

   conceived by the anti-republican Right (the DNVP and other unrepentant monarchists), the term was first used to identify any German who had a hand in either the Armistice* or the Versailles Treaty,* but it was soon applied to those prepared to fulfill the terms of Versailles (e.g., Walther Rathenau* and Gustav Stresemann*). Linked to the Dolchstosslegende,* it cast an ominous shadow on the Weimar Consti-tution* and the existence of the Republic.
   Although chief among the "November Criminals ' ' were Matthias Erzberger,* Philipp Scheidemann,* and Friedrich Ebert,* anyone who gave immoderate sup-port to the Republic could be tagged a Novemberverbrecher. While leading Party officials from the Weimar Coalition* were chiefly suspect, Theodor Wolff* (a newspaper editor) was the premier example of the nonpolitical Novemberver-brecher. From 1915 Wolff had attacked radical annexations in the pages of the Berliner Tageblatt; accordingly, he was cast increasingly in the 1920s as the traitor who had sabotaged national solidarity and had thereby subverted Ger-many s war effort.
   The NSDAP usurped "November Criminal ' ' as a Party slogan. Applying it broadly to social, political, cultural, and economic issues, the Nazis ultimately turned it against anyone associated with the "Weimar system.
   REFERENCES:Laqueur, Weimar; Taddey, Lexikon; Thimme, Flucht in den Mythos; Waite, Vanguard ofNazism.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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